A Travel Price Comparison for Italy Portofino vs. Florence for Attractions, Food, Old Town, and Couples

Should you visit Portofino or Florence?

Which is cheaper to visit? Which is more expensive for vacation?

Should I visit Portofino or Florence? This is a common question asked by many travelers. By figuring out which city has activities that align with your interests along with knowing which is more affordable, you'll understand where you can get more bang for your buck. So, let's dive into the details and the data, which all comes from actual travelers.

Portofino

Portofino is a glamorous, picturesque, and breathtaking seaside village. With plenty of activities and sights, this is a small town worth visiting. Many visitors also come because of it's amazing beauty. It also has a unique and quaint vibe that attracts lots of visitors. Visitors also love the shopping, nightlife, and food.

Florence

Florence is a alluring, historical, and artistic city. You'll find world class beauty here as well. And you can't forget about the nightlife, food, and shopping.

Portofino and Florence: Pros and Cons

Pros
  • Active nightlife
  • Nice resorts
  • Popular beach
  • Good for hiking
  • Good for couples and romance
  • Small town charm
  • Impressive beauty
  • Quaint atmosphere
Things to Consider
  • Less museums and historical sights
  • Less family-friendly
  • Less popular with backpackers
Pros
  • Popular museums and historical sights
  • Active nightlife
  • Family-friendly
  • Good for couples and romance
  • Good for backpackers and budget travelers
  • Good for students
  • Impressive beauty
  • Home to the Duomo (Santa Maria del Fiore)


Is there more to do in Portofino or Florence?

Visitors will usually find more to do in Florence than Portofino, as it offers more sights, attractions, and activities. Florence is better known for its museums, food, and historical sights, while Portofino is more popular for its nightlife, resorts, beaches, hiking, small town charm, and quaint atmosphere. Portofino is well known for its picturesque harbor, high end shopping, strikingly blue waters, and popularity with superyachts. Florence is well known for its iconic beauty, world-renowned Renaissance art and architecture, and beautifully maintained gardens. Also, Florence is famous for The Duomo (Santa Maria del Fiore).

How is Portofino different from Florence?

Which is Better for a Holiday?

Let's take a look at the differences and similarities between Florence and Portofino. Then, you can decide for yourself which place is better for your next trip.

Are the Museums and Historical Sights Better in Portofino or Florence?

Portofino
Florence

Florence is an unbeatable place for its sights and museums. However, Portofino is a mediocre seaside village for its museums and history.

The museums, monuments, and landmarks in Florence are among the most recognizable in the world. Because of it's important role in the Renaissance, the city has many world-renowned museums that you can visit. Famous sights and landmarks include the Uffizi Gallery, the Duomo, and the Academy Gallery.

While most people don't head to Portofino specifically for the museums and attractions, it does offer a few options. The village is mostly about soaking up the atmosphere, but you can also visit sights such as Sun Church of St. George and Cervara Abbey.


Is the Food Better in Portofino or Florence? Which Destination has the Best Restaurants?

Portofino
Florence

Florence is an unbeatable place for its local cuisine and restaurants. Also, Portofino is not as famous, but is still a good seaside village to visit for its restaurants.

For foodies, Florence is an obvious choice, as it is one of the food capitals of the world. Once you've worked up an appetite exploring museums and churches, you'll find many amazing local restaurants around town. Local dishes incorporate a lot of hearty vegetables and meats. Famous dishes include a Florentine steak dish, rabbit, and a bean bed and cabbage soup.

Portofino has a number of nationally recognized food spots and restaurants. Located by the sea, you'll enjoy tons of great seafood here. Make sure you try the mussels, swordfish, and salt cod.

Is Portofino or Florence Better for Nightlife?

Portofino
Florence

Portofino is a great seaside village for nightlife and partying. Also, Florence is not as popular, but is still a nice city for its evening party scene.

The nightlife in Portofino has something for everybody. Most of the nightlife is found around Piazzetta (Oliveri Square) and Molo Umberto I. Happy hours (aperitivo) start around 5pm or 6pm and then as the evening continues, the party often moves to Paraggi Beach.

There's a variety of activities in the evening in Florence. You'll find the most active nightlife in the Santa Croce neighborhood. The area attracts study abroad students as well as tourists who party late into the night.

Is Portofino or Florence Better for Resorts?

Portofino
Florence

Portofino is an unbeatable place for its luxury resorts. However, Florence is not a resort destination.

Portofino offers an unforgettable resort vacation. Known for it's exclusive luxury, there are a number of high end resorts in the area. Popular options include Splendido, Sublimis Boutique Hotel, and Grand Hotel Miramare.

Florence is not a resort destination.


Is Portofino or Florence Better for Beaches?

Portofino
Florence

Portofino is a nice place to visit for the beache. However, Florence is not a beach destination.

Portofino has a beach worth visiting. Like much of the Italian coast, the beaches in the area are dramatic and beautiful. They're also rocky and pebbly and can get a bit crowded during the summer months.

Florence is not a beach destination.

Is Portofino or Florence Better for its Old Town?

Portofino
Florence

Florence is an unbeatable place for its old town. Also, Portofino is not as famous, but is still a good seaside village to visit for its historic old town charm.

With a famous historical old-town, Florence offers plenty to see. The historic center of the city is where you'll find many of the most beautiful buildings, art works, and quaint streets. It is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and it was at the heart of the Renaissance period.

There is a nice variety of sights in the old town of Portofino. Despite evolving into a famous resort town, Portofino still holds on to its fishing village charm.

Is Portofino or Florence Better for Hiking?

Portofino
Florence

Portofino is a great seaside village for hiking. However, Florence is not a hiking destination.

Many visitors go to Portofino for the hiking trails. There are many beautiful hikes and treks along the coastline that pass by scenic landscapes and breathtaking views.

Florence is not a hiking destination.


Is the Shopping Better in Portofino or Florence?

Portofino
Florence

Both Portofino and Florence are very good shopping destinations.

Portofino is a popular shopping destination with plenty of stores. The quaint cobblestone streets are lined with high end boutiques that target the opulent jet-setter crowd that frequents Portofino. Much of the shopping is around Martiri dell'Olivetta Square.

Many visitors explore the shopping areas in Florence. There are many shops in the tourist heart of the city. Most are geared specifically to tourists so you may have to search to find a more authentic shopping experience. Famous items available in the city include gold jewelry, ceramics, leather, and perfume.

Is Portofino or Florence Better for Families?

Portofino
Florence

Florence is a popular place for its family-friendly activities. However, Portofino is a mediocre seaside village for its kid-friendly activities.

Florence is a family-friendly place to visit. Most famous for its art and history, the city also has a number of activities that kids will enjoy. There's a carousel and a park that are perfect to let the little ones run around. There are a few kid-friendly museums, as well as a historic city center that will mesmerize the old and young alike.

Portofino is not always a place people visit with their families. The town has a picturesque setting and some beautiful pebbly beaches. It's fun for kids to run around the town, explore by kayak, or play in the waters edge.

Is Portofino or Florence Better for Couples?

Portofino
Florence

With fun activities for couples, both Portofino and Florence make for a fantastic place to visit.

Portofino makes for a terrific place to visit as a couple. Set beautifully against the ocean's edge, this famous Italian town makes for a truly romantic holiday. Ogle the mega yachts in the harbor and then wander the charming streets while you soak in the atmosphere.

For those traveling as a couple, Florence has plenty to offer. Art and history lovers will enjoy a visit to this truly beautiful city. Couples who enjoy museums, historic buildings, and world-renowned art, will find plenty to do in this city.


Is Portofino or Florence Better for Backpackers and Budget Travelers?

Portofino
Florence

Florence is an unbeatable place for backpackers. However, Portofino is a mediocre seaside village for backpackers and budget travelers.

Backpackers and budget travelers come from all over the world to visit Florence. The city is part of a popular route through Italy, and you'll find many backpackers and students in town. There are also many hostels, so you should have no trouble meeting other young travelers.

Portofino is a challenging destination for budget travelers and backpackers due to the higher prices. Known for it's high prices, the town isn't particularly popular with the backpacker crowd. It is possible to stay outside of town and head in for a day trip.

Is Portofino or Florence Better for Students?

Portofino
Florence

Florence is an unbeatable place for students. However, Portofino is not popular with students.

Many students frequent Florence. Many students visit this city as part of a short term study abroad program, or for the entire length of their studies. The city is beautiful, and whether your focus is art, history, or culture, this city will not disappoint.

Portofino is not popular with students.

Is Portofino or Florence Better for Public Transit? Which Is Easier to Get Around Without a Car?

Portofino
Florence

Florence is a popular place for its public transit. However, Portofino is a mediocre seaside village for times when you don't have a car.

Florence has a few public transit options. There is a comprehensive bus system.

Public transit is mostly limited in Portofino. The closet train stations are Santa Margherita Ligure and Camogli. You can catch a bus from the Santa Margherita train station. There are also some ferry options.


Is Portofino or Florence a more walkable city?

Portofino
Florence

Portofino and Florence both are fantastic when exploring on foot.

It is easy to get around Portofino on foot. It's easy to walk around the village and then explore the countryside on one of the nearby trails.

It's very easy to get around on foot in Florence. Most people explore the city on foot.

For even more information, also check out Is Portofino Worth Visiting? and Is Florence Worth Visiting?.

Should I spend more time in Florence or Portofino?

How long in Portofino or Florence?

Both Portofino and Florence have a number of activities to choose from. With generally more activities and things to do, visitors tend to spend more time in Florence than in Portofino. Usually, 2-5 days is a good amount of time for Portofino, and 2-7 days is enough time in Florence.

Families should spend more time in Florence than Portofino. Because of the many family-friendly attractions and fun things to do for kids in Florence, it's a great place to visit with the whole family.

Backpackers and budget travelers should spend more time in Florence than Portofino if your budget allows for it. With a larger number of budget-friendly sights, good nightlife, and active things to do, anyone traveling on a budget would have a good time in Florence.


  • How many days in Portofino or Florence? Ideal Length of Stay
    Portofino 2-5 
    Florence 2-7

One day in Portofino or Florence?

Portofino is a small town where visitors enjoy the nightlife and food. Many visitors also spend a good bit of time hiking. With so much to do, one day is probably not enough time to see everything. It will give you the chance to have new experiences.

You'll find shopping and museums around the city of Florence. Visiting the old town is also a must. Since there is so much to do in the area, one day is probably not enough for all of it. It has many unique tourist attractions and fascinating things to do.

A weekend in Portofino or Florence?

Portofino is a popular place that is full of things to see and experience. If you have a weekend, this seaside village makes for a great vacation. People enjoy relaxing at one of the resorts. While some people choose to spend more or less time in Portofino, a weekend is sufficent for most. Take your pick from the many activities offered here.

You'll find museums and nightlife around the artistic destination of Florence. The old town is one of the main draws for visitors. This is a popular place to visit for a weekend.A weekend should give you a good understanding of everything this city has to offer. This city offers a variety of activities to choose from.


Five days in Portofino or Florence?

Portofino is a popular choice for travelers. Five days here is typical. While some people choose to spend more or less time in Portofino, five days is sufficent for most. The entire region has so many activities, and you'll want time to do everything.

You'll find nightlife and food around the artistic city of Florence. The length of your ideal trip is an individual decision. If you have five days, this city makes for a great vacation. Exploring the old town is a popular activity. Five days should give you a good understanding of everything this city has to offer.

A week in Portofino or Florence?

Portofino is a great place to explore. Hiking can easily take up a good amount of your time here, too. One week is more than enough time to enjoy everything. Take some day trips to nearby places to fill the extra days. This seaside village offers something for everyone.

Florence is a popular choice for travelers. One week here is typical. Make sure you visit the old town while you're here. While some people choose to spend more or less time in Florence, one week is sufficent for most. It will give you the chance to have new experiences.


For some great organized tour ideas, see The Best Historical Tours in Italy, The Best 10-Day Tours in Italy, The Best One Week (7-Day) Tours in Italy, and The Best 2-Week Tours in Italy.


Which place is cheaper, Florence or Portofino?

These are the overall average travel costs for the two destinations.

The average daily cost (per person) in Portofino is €326, while the average daily cost in Florence is €154. These costs include accommodation (assuming double occupancy, so the traveler is sharing the room), food, transportation, and entertainment. While every person is different, these costs are an average of past travelers in each destination. What follows is a categorical breakdown of travel costs for Portofino and Florence in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Portofino 190
    Florence 87
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Portofino 380
    Florence 174
Compare Hotels in Portofino and Florence

Looking for a hotel in Portofino or Florence? Prices vary by location, date, season, and the level of luxury. See below for options and compare which is best for your budget and travel style.

Hotels in Portofino


Hotels in Florence


Kayak helps you find the best prices for hotels, flights, and rental cars for destinations around the world. Compare prices for multiple destinations when planning your next trip.


Our Analysis
We've analyzed the average and typical hotel prices based on guest reviews, star ratings, and hotel amenities here: Portofino Hotel Prices and Florence Hotel Prices.

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Portofino 23
    Florence 22

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Portofino

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Portofino:

  • CAR 3 PAX TRANSFER TO AIRPORT MILANO MALPENSA: $979
  • Private Transfer - Portofino Cruise Port to Florence Airport(FLR): $160
  • Private Transfer from Portofino Cruise Port to Florence hotels: $160
  • Portofino hotels to Genoa Airport (GOA) - Departure Private Transfer: $54
  • Private Transfer from Portofino Cruise Port to Genoa Airport(GOA): $50
  • Private Transfer from Portofino Cruise Port to Genoa city hotels: $50

Typical Local Transportation Prices in Florence

Below are a few samples from actual travelers for transportation costs in Florence:


  • Taxi Ride Within City
    8.00
  • Taxi from Airport
    25
  • In City Parking (Full Day)
    30
  • Bus Pass (Full Day)
    5.00
  • Bus From Airport
    5.00

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Florence

Also for Florence, here are a few examples of actual transportation services:

  • From The Mall Firenze Shuttle Transfer: $15
  • Shared Bus Transfer to/from Pisa Airport: $16
  • Private Departure Transfer: Florence Train Station: $36
  • Florence hotels to Florence Airport (FLR) - Departure Private Transfer: $41
  • Florence Airport Private Departure Transfer: $49
  • Florence Airport Private Transfer to the City: $49
  • Private Transfer from SMN Train Station to Florence: $52
  • From La Spezia: Round-Trip Bus Transfer to Florence: $53
  • Private Florence Airport to Hotel Transfer: $60
  • Private Transfer from your Hotel in Florence to the Airport: $60
  • Departure Private Transfer Florence City to Florence Station SMN by Sedan or Van: $62
  • From Round Trip Transfer to Cinque Terre: $64

Is it cheaper to fly into Portofino or Florence?

Prices for flights to both Florence and Portofino change regularly based on dates and travel demand. We suggest you find the best prices for your next trip on Kayak, because you can compare the cost of flights across multiple airlines for your prefered dates.





Food
  • Food Meals for one day
    Portofino 118
    Florence 36

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Portofino

Also, here are some specific examples of food and dining related activities in Portofino.

  • Portofino Boat and Walking Tour with Pesto Cooking & Lunch: $249

Typical Food Prices in Florence

Here are some examples of typical meal expenses from previous travelers to Florence:


  • Panini Sandwich
    6.50
  • Casual Lunch (for Two)
    17

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Florence

For Florence, here are some samples of tours and activities related to meals and dining experiences:

  • Florence Street Food Tour: Market & City Center: $25
  • Hard Rock Cafe Florence with Set Menu for Lunch or Dinner: $27
  • Hard Rock Cafe Florence with Set Lunch or Dinner: $31
  • Florence Street Food Tour, Market and City Center: $31
  • Walking Food Tour at Sunset with Tastings: $32
  • Virtual Cooking Class: Bruschetta & Tiramisù: $36
  • Virtual Italian Meatballs Cooking Class, Live from Tuscany: $38
  • Pasta and Tiramisu Cooking Class with Wine: $41
  • Street Food Tour with Local Expert Guide: $41
  • Street Food Tour and Sightseeing with Local Expert Guide in 2.5 hours : $42
  • Pasta Cooking Class with Unlimited Wine: $43
  • Florence Street Food Tour and sightseeing with Central Market: $47

Entertainment
  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Portofino 27
    Florence 30

Tours and Activities in Portofino

Some specific costs of activities, tours, and entrance tickets for Portofino are as follows:

  • 1-Hour Snorkeling Tour in Paraggi Bay, Portofino: $42
  • Easy Kayak Tour to Portofino with Optional Snorkeling: $53
  • Paddle Boarding Experience in Portofino: $54
  • Portofino Kayak Tour: $54
  • Portofino Private Walking Tour: $272
  • Portofino Stand Up Paddleboard Experience: $53
  • Portofino e San Fruttuoso Boat Experience: $109
  • Coasteering Tour: $75
  • Private Sunset Boat Tour with Aperitif of Ligurian goods: $489
  • Private Tour of Genoa and Portofino from Genoa: $725
  • Snorkel Tour in Paraggi Bay: $43
  • White Boat Tour Tigullio Portofino: $457

Typical Entertainment Prices in Florence

For Florence, here are some examples of average entertainment and activity prices from previous travelers:


  • Admission to Uffizi
    11
  • Phone Booking Fee for Uffizi
    4.00
  • Firenze Card (for Two)
    100
  • Audioguides at Uffizi (for Two)
    20
  • Giotto's Tower Entrance Fee
    6.00
  • Boboli Gardens Entrance Fee
    7.00

Tours and Activities in Florence

Also, here are some specific examples of entertainment, tickets, and activities for Florence.

  • Relive the Renaissance on a Guided Walking Tour: $2.72
  • Dark Mysteries and Legends Guided Walking Tour: $2.72
  • Self Guided Tours Florence With 100 Captivating Audio Stories: $3.32
  • Florence Walking Tour: $3.32
  • The Best tour in Renaissance & Medici Tales - guided by a STORYTELLER: $3.32
  • Sunset Walking Tour: $3.33
  • Private Tour to the Laboratory of Artistic Ceramics in Tuscany: $3.33
  • Smartphone self guided Tour: $4.34
  • Private Audio Guided Walking Tour in Florence: $5.54
  • Galleria dell' Accademia Audio Guide (Ticket NOT included): $5.99
  • Florence and Pisa self guided tour: $6.51
  • Dante's Inferno Quest Experience: $6.51

Alcohol
  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Portofino 16
    Florence 18

Typical Alcohol Prices in Florence

Here are a few samples of the prices for alcohol and nightlife in Florence from other travelers:


  • Glass of Chianti
    4.20
  • Bottle of Wine
    7.50

Sample the Local Flavors in Florence

Also in Florence, these are the prices for nightlife and alcohol related activities from various tour providers:

  • Wine Tasting by CarusVini in San Casciano in val di Pesa: $17
  • Great wine tasting at Tenuta Moriano: $26
  • Wine Tasting Experience near Florence: $28
  • Biodynamic Wine Tasting with Producer in Vinci: $28
  • Wine Tasting Experience with Three Types of Tuscan Wine: $30
  • Cellar Wine Tour: $33
  • Classic Wine Tasting in Montalcino: $33
  • Florence Wine Tasting Experience with Three Types of Tuscan Wine: $38
  • Wine Tasting and Paring Class Guided Tour in Florence: $43
  • Chianti Wine Tour: Tuscan Reds : $43
  • Wine Tasting Experience in Florence city centre: $43
  • Wine Tasting and Pairing Class Guided Tour in Florence: $44


When we compare the travel costs of actual travelers between Portofino and Florence, we can see that Portofino is more expensive. And not only is Florence much less expensive, but it is actually a significantly cheaper destination. So, traveling to Florence would let you spend less money overall. Or, you could decide to spend more money in Florence and be able to afford a more luxurious travel style by staying in nicer hotels, eating at more expensive restaurants, taking tours, and experiencing more activities. The same level of travel in Portofino would naturally cost you much more money, so you would probably want to keep your budget a little tighter in Portofino than you might in Florence.

If you're trying to decide if either of these two destinations are within your price range, also see Is Portofino Expensive? and Is Florence Expensive?.


Which is Bigger, Portofino or Florence?

Florence has a larger population, and is about 700 times larger than the population of Portofino. When comparing the sizes of Portofino and Florence, keep in mind that a larger population does not always imply the destination has more attractions or better activities. So, always research the type of place that you want to visit along with the activities and attractions that interest you.